No matter how young or old your kids are, there are plenty of things to do in Vietnam with family. In the vibrant city of Ho Chi Minh family activities range from exploring lush gardens and parks to a day out at one of the expansive theme parks or enjoying traditional performances in the heart of the city. Ho Chi Minh City also has a good mix of accommodation, dining, and shopping opportunities on offer, to keep both parents and kids happy.
1. Rin Rin Park – Situated in Xuan Thoi Dong, the real highlight of this immaculate little garden, is the truly spectacular Koi pond.
Sit back and relax in the calming gardens as the kids explore the wonderful water features and whimsical fish sculptures or spend hours watching the Koi.
2. Cu Chi tunnels – Discover an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
These fascinating tunnels form part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country and were used during the Vietnam War. Don’t miss an opportunity for an interesting and educational visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where you can learn about the tunnel systems, and even crawl through them if you’re feeling adventurous.
3. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Established in 1865, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, are Vietnam's largest zoo and botanical garden.
Home to over 550 mammals, reptiles and birds, as well as more than 1,830 trees and 260 plant species in the botanical gardens. Explore the different sections of the zoo and gardens, including the animal conservation area, orchid garden and plant conservation centre and a children’s amusement area.
4. Jade Emperor Pagoda – Located in District 1, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most spectacular and atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City.
The temple was built in 1909 in honour in the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor) and is stuffed full with fierce looking heroes and menacing Taoist figures, that are sure to thrill your children while you delve into the rich history of this unusual and mesmerising place. Even the former President of the USA, Obama paid a visit to the Jade Emperor Pagoda, so it's surely worth a visit.
5. Tao Dan Park – Take a stroll with the kids through this leafy public park featuring manicured gardens, a Buddhist temple, play areas & sports facilities.
The 10-hectare Tao Dan Park is one of the city's most attractive green spaces. The park is split down the middle, with a small contemporary sculpture garden on the northeast side and on the other side, the Labour Culture Palace with tennis courts, a colonnaded art-deco swimming pool and a clubhouse.
6. Artinus 3D Art Museum – This offbeat, family-friendly museum is the first of its kind in Ho Chi Minh City.
The spacious exhibit is filled with vibrant murals and paintings of wildlife, sculptures and popular landmarks that seem almost lifelike. Perhaps the museum’s main draw is the Vietnam Zone featuring three-dimensional paintings of ladies dressed in traditional ao dai costumes.
7. Ben Thanh Market – In District 1, central Ho Chi Minh, Ben Thanh Market is a large marketplace and, as one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon is an important symbol of the city.
Explore local handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs, as well as a taste of the local cuisine.
8. Saigon Reunification Palace – This must-visit family-friendly attraction has a special appeal for kids and is an interesting stop for parents too.
The spacious public areas make a befitting backdrop for a princess fantasy, while the basement war rooms will appeal to your little heroes.
9. Monkey Island – Situated in Halong Bay, this scenic, swampy mangrove forest features wild crocodiles and dozens of clever monkeys.
The kids will love watching the monkey’s as they dart around on the soft sand. Monkey island isn’t just about the monkeys, there is also a short trek that takes you up to the peak of the island, offering one of the best views of the bay.
10. Sherwood Residence – Finding the right hotel is likely an essential on your family itinerary for Vietnam. The 5-star Sherwood Residence apartments are ideally located on scenic Pasteur Street in District 3 Ho Chi Minh City, with easy access to all major tourist attractions and shopping centres.
The hotel is perfect for travel with the family as there is an outdoor pool area, modern fitness centre, Finnish sauna, steam bath, table tennis, billiards and golf putting area, yoga room, plus an array of kid-friendly features, including a playroom, mini cinema, game room and separate children’s pool.
As one of Vietnam’s most prominent cities, Ho Chi Minh City certainly isn’t lacking in exciting activities, culinary delights and sightseeing opportunities, but why not take a few days out and escape the busy metropolis for a different environment. With our top 5 day trips from Ho Chi Minh City, just hours from the city, you can discover jungles, floating markets, islands, rivers, and much more.
Plus, the hotel offers travel assistance for all sightseeing attractions in the city and surrounding areas. After a hearty breakfast at Sherwood Residence, head out to experience rural life at the Mekong Delta. It will take around 2 hours from here to the Mekong Delta and it’s definitely worth booking a tour to get the most out of exploring the area. When at the vast Mekong Delta area, much of your exploration will be centred around the waterways, as it is the waterways and canals that predominantly connect one area to the next. Why not get hands on and have a go at fishing with the locals or enjoy a peaceful canoe down the canals. Many tours will take you to the durian orchards, rice fields, rice paper factories and local markets.
2. Vung Tau – Perhaps the easiest way to get to the very popular destination of Vung Tau is by road, on a bus or taxi.
From Sherwood Residence this excursion should take approximately 2 hours, and most buses run from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau around every 30 minutes (Sherwood Residence can assist with your travel arrangements if you’re unsure). While the beach itself isn’t perhaps as spectacular as others in Vietnam, the laid-back vibe of this small, bustling coastal community more than makes up for it. In this charming sea-side town there are plenty of activities to fill your day, including a small hike up the surrounding mountains, or a gondola ride up if you’d prefer. For the foodies, the fresh seafood along the beach or at one of the many restaurants in town comes highly recommended.
3. Can Gio Mangrove Forest – Can Gio Island, otherwise known as Monkey Island, is a series of islands comprising of 80,000 hectares of mangroves and water coconut forests.
The Can Gio Mangrove Forest is around 40km (25 miles) from Ho Chi Minh City so it doesn’t take long to get there, but the simplest way is by bus followed by ferry across the Nha Be River. Aside from the hundreds of monkeys, this UNESCO biosphere reserve features a unique wetlands ecosystem, home to a number of rare plant and animal species, including many saltwater crocodiles and a variety of migratory birds. In the forest reserve you can feed the monkeys, fish for crabs, watch the bats or even feed eels to the crocodiles.
4. Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple – The Cu Chi Tunnels played a vital role during Vietnam’s long fight for independence and on your visit here you get a real insight into what life was like during that time. Spend half a day learning about the interesting history of the tunnels and climbing through the narrow spaces. There are a variety of transport options to Cu Chi Tunnels, but a bus is perhaps the simplest and is around an hour and a half journey from near Sherwood Residence.
On your journey back to the city, stop off at Tay Ninh to see the Cao Dai Temple, home of the Cao Dai religion. Time it right to experience the main draw at this temple - the daily masses, featuring bright colours and fascinating rituals.
5. Cai Be Floating Market – A full day excursion to Cai Be floating market is the perfect way to witness the floating market activities, enjoy boat rides through small canals, experience cooking local dishes and biking in the village paths.
Arrange a tour and get picked up directly from Sherwood Residence, where you will head along the Trung Luong Express Highway, perhaps stopping off to take photos in Tan An town overlooking the picturesque flat rice fields. Though not as large as Cai Rang floating market, Cai Be is the less touristy option, where you’ll see locals trading fruit, flowers and seafood.